March 18, 2019 Subject:
The only Pit
Last show in Albuquerque, though they would play Santa Fe in the '80s. A First Set AUD has never been known (other than rumors) and apparently there was no SBD. A partial Second Set from the Grateful Dead Hour circulated until 2008, when most of the rest of the set emerged. Sure would like to hear the rest and see if the First Set is as good as the next night in Denver
We are also missing the first two songs of the Second Set, so we have little context for the proceedings into this bouncy, peppy Ramble On Rose (dropped beats on all sources). Passenger has issues (with Jer guitar and struggled vox). "Oh well," says (I think) Jer. The problems continue for a stinker of a Terrapin, with more Jer guitar/vox issues and general confusion. It's hard to tell if the SBD represents what the punters heard over the P/A mix, but the trainwrecks are obvious. Surprisingly, they don't bail early. Playin' comes together partway for a solid jam. There are dropouts in Drums and the tranny into Iko is missing. The official version doesn't fade into Iko until after 11 sec (for no apparent reason). This is the second Iko but the first, in May '77, was a spontaneous part of a Not Fade Away, so this is sorta-kinda the first. It WAS the first that was planned/intentional. In the meantime Jer recorded an Iko session for Cats Under the Stars. This one has a nicely-funky, creeping groove. It didn't sound like this for long. Jer starts a Gimme Some Lovin' riff (not really a tease) before the push and pull sways into The Wheel. Wharf Rat has a wonderful jam (if not quite the equal of 6/8 or 12/31). The end, into Sugar Mag, is excellent. The latter is not the tightest, but a nice energy leaves 'em happy by the end.
What we have = C / 2½ stars
Iko Iko - funky creeping groove in first full version
Wharf Rat - excellent jam section
SOURCES: The miller_80753 is the most complete that we have. Road Trips v. 1 #2 has four of these songs, unfortunately adding none of the missing set.
February 10, 2014 Subject:
...there will always be parts missing. This one was wonderful from the so fitting refrain of the first song onward. The pit had great acoustics (since mangled) - and the Dead knew what to do. Lesh came back first from the halftime break and started bouncing notes off the ceiling - it was raining sound exquisitely. I'm thinking he may have been joined by Ned Lagin... how are we gonna get that captured in any recording? There is (was) nothing like a grateful dead concert.